HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
What have you made lately? Tell us about it
TELL US

Philly's Best Hot Dogs

p
Philly Ray Jun 28, 2012 04:42 AM

I don't think there are any other places besides what is on this list, but here it is...

http://mobile.philly.com/food/?wss=/p...

  1. c
    cwdonald Jun 28, 2012 04:49 AM

    Great list. If you are going to put Shake Shack on there, you might as well put Five Guys on there which does offer a variety of toppings with a split grilled Hebrew National Frank.

    If you include the suburbs there are others that could be added.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald
      RC51Mike Jun 28, 2012 04:54 AM

      For some reason they did include Jimmy John's so the suburban door should have been wide open for others to be included. Holly Eats has a very good list that includes the burbs.

      1. re: RC51Mike
        c
        cwdonald Jun 28, 2012 04:56 AM

        The other interesting thing to be noted is they for the most part do not talk about what brand of hot dogs are served.......... pet peeve in the Hot Dog Lover's community.

        1. re: cwdonald
          RC51Mike Jun 28, 2012 05:08 AM

          Agreed. There should be a law that no hot dog article can be published until vetted by John Fox.

          1. re: cwdonald
            h
            hotdoglover Jul 1, 2012 04:43 AM

            Agreed. At the minimum the type of dog (all beef, beef/pork) should be included as well as the brand, the way the dog is prepared, and the size. Toppings and cute nicknames are always included, but the actual dog, whether it has a casing, it's type and how it's prepared is more important. Too many articles do not include this.

            The dogs at the Memphis Taproom are 5/1 natural casing Best Provision beef franks. The same dog served at the popular (now gone) Syd's in New Jersey.

          2. re: RC51Mike
            t
            tzanghi Jun 28, 2012 07:18 AM

            If we include the burbs(NJ), I would throw in the Pop Shop in Collingswood. They do foot longs on brioche, but they do one with fried onions and cheese whiz that is definitely worth any gastro-intestinal problems that may ensue.

            I also haven't had one in a while, but when I was younger my father used to take me to Nifty Fifty's for the Texas Tommys, and I remember them being very good.

        2. b
          barryg Jun 28, 2012 05:04 AM

          Are the dogs at Underdogs natural casing? How about Texas Wieners?

          9 Replies
          1. re: barryg
            c
            cwdonald Jun 28, 2012 05:08 AM

            Great question ...... might be worth posting that on the Facebook Hot Dog Lovers forum John Fox and others frequent there and they are hot dog authorities. Or perhaps Hawk Krawl will stop by here. Maybe Holly Moore knows as well. worth checking out his hot dog page.

            1. re: cwdonald
              h
              Holly Moore Jun 28, 2012 08:36 AM

              The article missed what I consider the best hot dog in Philadelphia - the one from the Hot Dog Guy at 24th and Passyunk.

              1. re: Holly Moore
                g
                GDSwamp Jun 28, 2012 08:50 AM

                Is he still there? I've wanted to go since reading your review, but that review seems to be one of the older ones, and I wondered if the guy is still around.

                1. re: GDSwamp
                  h
                  Holly Moore Jun 28, 2012 10:23 AM

                  Just to be sure, headed back to day. Mike is still putting out a five grease stain hot dog. In the summer he takes Saturdays off. Be sure to have him layer on some of his pepper hash.

                  1. re: Holly Moore
                    g
                    GDSwamp Jun 28, 2012 11:28 AM

                    I'm going right away.

            2. re: barryg
              h
              hotdoglover Jul 1, 2012 04:39 AM

              Underdogs switched from a skinless Dietz and Watson beef frank to a Berk's skinless frank. Not sure if the new dog is all beef or beef/pork.

              1. re: hotdoglover
                cheesewit Jul 4, 2012 07:41 AM

                John, they told me all beef when I was in there last Saturday.

                1. re: cheesewit
                  c
                  cwdonald Jul 4, 2012 07:51 AM

                  If they are an all beef 5 by 1 Berks, those are fabulous dogs. Capone's in East Norriton uses them for their hot dog specials (tommys or chili dogs) and they are fantastic.

                  1. re: cwdonald
                    cheesewit Jul 4, 2012 06:11 PM

                    They are. And I live near Capone's and have had the chili dog.

            3. c
              Chefpaulo Jun 28, 2012 08:49 AM

              Does anyone remember Lenny's Hot Dogs? We're going back 45 to 50 years here.
              Lenny's had one hot dog place at Wadsworth and Pickering in Mt. Airy (across from the Acme) and I think there were one or two others. I don't know what brand he served but they were huge and delicious.
              With mustard, relish, sauerkraut, a side of fries and an orange soda, this Hound was in heaven.
              CP

              12 Replies
              1. re: Chefpaulo
                c
                cwdonald Jun 28, 2012 08:57 AM

                Lenny's is in Feasterville/Trevose on Street Road now. He was the protector of the production of pepper hash. Offers both grilled and boiled hot dogs (not sure of his standard one.) Quality is ok not great.

                He sources some of his things from Illigs. Also has Champ Cherry Soda. Holly has a great review of him on his Hot Dog page.

                The other place that deserves mention is Levis. It has been revived in Jenkintown. Quality is variable, but they also have the philly surf and turf and the old sodas.

                1. re: cwdonald
                  c
                  Chefpaulo Jun 28, 2012 10:35 AM

                  CW, YES, you're so right. It wasn't sauerkraut on the hot dog. It was pepper hash. Thanks for the long-term memory refreshment.
                  So, maybe they weren't the best hot dogs in the world. Memories (as we know) can become distorted. More likely, it was my little bro' and I going out doing Saturday errands with dad and having him all to ourselves that made them taste better.
                  CP

                  1. re: Chefpaulo
                    Bacchus101 Jun 28, 2012 11:09 AM

                    CP, careful with mistaking pepper hash for sauerkraut, could get your zapped! Opps here I go!

                    1. re: Bacchus101
                      c
                      Chefpaulo Jun 28, 2012 12:48 PM

                      No confusion at all. It had the red flecks of bell pepper. I loved it .

                      As for the "flashbulb memories" of life, Dad took us to Lenny's during the peak days of the Cuban missile crisis. That will be 50 years ago in October. After Lenny's hot dogs, we bought canned water, a bunch of canned food and a dosimeter (radiation detector) awaiting the imminent nuclear attack. We drove home and he didn't say anything the entire trip.
                      A Lenny's hot dog with pepper hash could have been my last meal. We just didn't know.
                      CP

                      1. re: Chefpaulo
                        b
                        barryg Jun 28, 2012 01:25 PM

                        Wow

                2. re: Chefpaulo
                  f
                  FayeD Jun 28, 2012 01:30 PM

                  I have fond memories of Lenny's Hot Dogs but the one on Castor Ave. I believe the brand they carried were Yankee Maids which I don't think exist any more. I used to get mine with Mustard, Relish, Pepper Hash and Sauerkraut. I don't remember this one having fries or even the orange soda. Not sure what brand of soda I drank. My girlfriends and I would stop there to grab a bite to eat while we were strolling along Castor Ave. That was probably more than 45 years ago. Thanks for the memories.

                  I know this has nothing to do with hot dogs and probably should be somewhere else but while we are remembering things - does anyone still miss H&H?

                  1. re: FayeD
                    c
                    cwdonald Jun 28, 2012 01:49 PM

                    The automat morphed into the snack machine in every lunch room..........

                    1. re: FayeD
                      c
                      Chefpaulo Jun 28, 2012 04:37 PM

                      Will start a new thread on this one.
                      CP

                      1. re: Chefpaulo
                        c
                        Chefpaulo Jul 1, 2012 08:04 PM

                        I had my new thread on H&H bleeped as "nostalgia is not topical" on this site.
                        I guess we cannot mention any closed establishment for that matter. Behave yourselves!
                        CP

                        1. re: Chefpaulo
                          c
                          cwdonald Jun 17, 2013 10:53 AM

                          Well H&H is open in Philadelphia.

                          1. re: cwdonald
                            c
                            Chefpaulo Jun 17, 2013 03:31 PM

                            Horn and Hardart open? You mean a sit down restaurant?
                            Edify me.
                            CP

                    2. re: Chefpaulo
                      s
                      StrandedYankee Jul 1, 2012 08:18 PM

                      I grew up a block and a half from the Lenny's that was on Castor Ave in NE Philly. I saw the Lenny's on Street Road, tried it, and wanted to cry! I got my old favorite...the combo with pepper hash. It was lousy. The hot dog itself seemed okay, but the pepper hash had little flavor, and the fishcake had less flavor than that! What a heartbreak...

                    3. PhillyBestBYOB Jan 20, 2013 09:27 AM

                      Enjoyed my first visit to Hot Diggity on South Street before the Auto Show yesterday. We had several different dogs, and my favorite was "The Windy City", an ode to a Chicago-style (but missing the classic poppy seed bun, celery salt, and sport peppers--I'm an ex-Chicagoan!).

                      Tasty and well-made, with a nice firm (maybe too firm) toasted bun, although really I'd prefer a heftier dog (it tended to get drowned under all the toppings).

                      The hand-cut fries and 12 different dipping sauces were even better (Wasabi Mayo over Rosemary-Garlic). Hawk Krall's art on the walls was also pretty cool.

                      Although I also lived in Seattle for 10 years during the grunge era, and I never saw anything remotely like "The Seattle Grunge" dog!

                      Pic of "The Windy City":

                       
                      2 Replies
                      1. re: PhillyBestBYOB
                        PhillyBestBYOB Jan 20, 2013 09:32 AM

                        And they need to work on their HKM (harmonized ketchup messaging)!

                         
                        1. re: PhillyBestBYOB
                          b
                          barryg Jan 20, 2013 02:13 PM

                          Shake Shack does a good Chicago dog with the right bun and the celery salt.

                          iMO the bun at hot diggity is too big and the dog too skinny, it just doesn't work for me. A shame because they clearly put a lot of care into the food quality, flavors and preparation.

                        2. c
                          cwdonald Jan 20, 2013 09:35 AM

                          http://mynorthwest.com/874/730913/Cream-Cheese--Hot-Dog-The-History-Behind-the-Seattle-Dog is a great discussion of the history of seattle hot dogs with cream cheese. It is legit.

                          The folks at hot diggity are really into their hot dogs. Last year they did a recreation of a series of different hot dogs at "Cook" the space owned by Audrey Claire. I believe Holly Eats has a write up of it. I know one of the types they did was a Chicago style dog complete with the poppy seed buns, sport peppers and celery salt. http://drawingforfood.blogspot.com/20... is another recap of that event. They have said they will be doing some similar events at their South Street location this year.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: cwdonald
                            PhillyBestBYOB Jan 20, 2013 10:58 AM

                            Invented in 1988? In other words, like yesterday? ;-)

                            Don't you love how we American's have to categorize even the most obscure things into "styles" and then "rank" them (don't get me started on supposed pizza styles). How about we just call them hot dogs and leave it at that?

                            Of course then Hot Diggity wouldn't be on TV.

                            1. re: PhillyBestBYOB
                              c
                              cwdonald Jan 20, 2013 11:13 AM

                              Hey 1988 was a quarter of a century ago ... not like it was yesterday. And talk radio and foodtv has lead us to lists, but it is appropriate to acknowledge regional differences in food. and to celebrate them. You should go on the annual hot dog tour of New Jersey and see how many different styles you can find just in one state.

                              1. re: cwdonald
                                Bacchus101 Jan 20, 2013 12:11 PM

                                CW, do you have a when and how on that Annual Hot Dog Tour of New Jersey? Sound like great fun!

                                1. re: Bacchus101
                                  c
                                  cwdonald Jan 20, 2013 12:44 PM

                                  Yes its in September. You need to go to Facebook and join Hot Dog Nation. This will be the tenth year of the tour. The owners of the Facebook group are the organizers of the tour. What I like most about it are the variety of types of dogs.. dirty water, coneys, IHD. It always starts at Galloping Hill in Union and winds its way through parts of Jersey.

                          2. k
                            keg234 Jan 20, 2013 10:09 PM

                            I'm not 100% sure if it's still open but YoDogs in Wynmoor (just outside of Chestnut hill) had a great hot dog. Good topping choices & had just the right amount of "snap" when you bit into it!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: keg234
                              c
                              cwdonald Jan 21, 2013 05:04 AM

                              Yes Yo Dogs is still going. And fwiw they use Sabrett's which do have the snap you reference. I am not sure what size how ever.

                            2. Bacchus101 Jun 17, 2013 01:32 PM

                              This post peaked my interest in local franks, dogs, wieners. I know what I like when I bite into it. The best I can describe is natural casing, grilled on a regular hot dog roll with standard toppings available. Here is a link to the 10 top hot lies, interesting.

                              http://forums.egullet.org/topic/14517...

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Bacchus101
                                Bacchus101 Jun 17, 2013 03:47 PM

                                The #1 lie is "We get these hot dogs made especially for us". I have heard this a few times. Wonder what this really means; as in to their recipe, specific size??? Also the #2 "we make our own dogs" seems like phrases to justify a higher price. Think I would rather trust a know quality brand.

                                1. re: Bacchus101
                                  b
                                  Boognish Jun 19, 2013 07:00 AM

                                  I understand your point, but making your own dogs is really difficult. I make all kinds of charcuterie, and hot dogs are particularly finicky to produce in small batches. Of course, even pulling it off doesn't mean they'll taste better than mass-produced dogs.

                                  Can you think of a place off-hand that makes their own dogs in-house?

                                  1. re: Boognish
                                    c
                                    cwdonald Jun 19, 2013 07:35 AM

                                    You can begin with Alla Spina and their mortadella hot dogs. Illig's in Chalfont makes theirs, and I believe that Brauhaus Schmitz makes a few of their own sausages.

                                    1. re: Boognish
                                      Edwardrae Jun 19, 2013 09:11 AM

                                      Yes agreed, house made does not mean better! I have had a similar experience with charcuterie made in house not been good compared to my standard brands. I can not think of a place off-hand that makes their own dogs but CW seems to have that covered. I do know that Bolete claims to make their own, which on two occasions I have trade-in on another selection.

                                      1. re: Boognish
                                        Bacchus101 Jun 19, 2013 09:15 AM

                                        I do recall the statements that the dogs are made in house and or that they are made special for them. But I can not put name on the establishment where I heard that, sorry.

                                        1. re: Bacchus101
                                          Chefmonty Jun 19, 2013 09:37 AM

                                          I know I was told this at Jimmy Johns

                                          1. re: Chefmonty
                                            c
                                            cwdonald Jun 19, 2013 11:20 AM

                                            Jimmy John's has a special size that is made at I believe Dietz and Watson ... John Fox(hot dog lover) knows the details on this. So this is a case of interpretation. Its a standard recipe but they are short and fat, and to the best of my knowledge you cannot buy these retail ... (though you can actually buy them in bulk through Jimmy Johns... ).

                                            1. re: Chefmonty
                                              Bacchus101 Jun 20, 2013 03:59 AM

                                              Thanks, yes that is one place I have heard this statement. I can recall liking Jimmy Johns dogs. Recently I swooped into their roadside parking area for a memory dog. I threw both dogs, each dressed differently, away after one bite each. Did I order the wrong dog? Just me? Bad day? I know they have a faithful following and a strong business. Quite vexing.

                                    2. b
                                      Bigley9 Jun 18, 2013 12:11 PM

                                      July 20th at Headhouse is the 2nd annual Dog Days of Summer Amateur Hot Dog cookoff for all you hot dog fans! Hot Diggity is sponsoring, it's on FB

                                      Show Hidden Posts